Wednesday, 9 July 2014

CPL BOOST – will bring unprecedented marketing of Grenada

By Linda Straker

Sports Minister, Emmalin Pierre, believes that Grenada’s hosting of the opening games for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will bring about a level of marketing for the island’s tourism product that the island will never be able to achieve on any given day.

“What we are going to achieve single-handedly on that day, the country will never be able to pay for this; we cannot afford to pay for this. The island and its facility will be on show for the entire world; think about the millions in India and South Africa who will be watching,” Pierre said last week Thursday, during a ceremony in which Sandals presented the Government of Grenada with EC$135 000 to contribute to the cost of Grenada acquiring the rights to host the opening games, which will be held on July 11 and 12, 2014.

Minister of Sports, Emmalin Pierre, receiving a cheque
from Peter Fraser, General Manager of Sandals LaSource.
“It’s opening a barrage of opportunities. The games will be exposing our young people to the many opportunities that are available through sports,” she added.

Speaking about the immediate impact on the country, Pierre said that hotel rooms will be occupied as there will be heads in beds during the traditional slow and low season.

“The officials alone will be filling two of our biggest hotels, plus the teams and others who are coming just for the events on those two days,” she said.

“The entire country stands to benefit from this; the marketing opportunities will just be magnificent,” she said, reiterating that tourism and sports can create a partnership that will bring huge benefits to both the public and private sectors.

The sports minister said that although Government has been criticised for pursuing the hosting of the games, she believes that it will bring untold benefits to the island immediately and in the future.

“When we took the decision, we did not even know where the money was coming from to pay, but we looked at the bigger picture and we firmly believe that this can only be in the good for the country,” she said.

Peter Fraser, General Manager of Sandals LaSource, presented the cheque to the Minister. He said that Chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart was extremely proud to be associated with the games, as cricket is one thing that unites and brings the Caribbean people together.

It will cost the Government US$500 000 to host the games and Government is raising the funds through various partners. The National Lotteries Authority has already contributed US$250 000.

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